New York City New York. Officials with the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Friday New York Knicks shooting guard J R Smith has been suspended for the first five games of the upcoming basketball season. for failing his third drug test.
Adrian Wojanrowski of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the sports story before the league made it official.
Since Smith had off season surgery it is doubtful he would be able to play in the opening game of the upcoming basketball season. The suspension will take effect when Smith is able to play basketball.
The NBA policy states if a player fails the first two drug tests the player is not fined or suspended. He has to go to a treatment center to cure his drug problem. A third failed drug test results in a five game suspension from the league.
Smith is a key player in the Knicks offense. He averaged 18.1 points per game last basketball season. With his excellent basketball skills the Knicks management rewarded him with a three year contract worth $18 million this past summer.
Smith has been suspended by the league before. He was suspended 10 games for his role in a fight between the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets in 2006.
In 2007 Smith he was suspended seven game for his role in an auto accident that killed one man. He spent 90 days in jail for that incident.
Smith was also suspended three games in 2007 for an incident in a nightlclub.
News sources Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski, Kurt Helin and Pro Basketball Talk